Cargo, Containers, EU – Baltic States, Investments, Lithuania, Port, Transport

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 21.10.2021, 20:52

Klaipedos Smelte expects ocean-going ships to return to Lithuanian seaport

BC, Vilnius, 06.11.2020.Print version
Klaipedos Smelte, a Lithuanian stevedoring company owned by Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), has made almost all the necessary investments in anticipation of the possible return of MSC's ocean-going vessels to the seaport of Klaipeda, informs LETA/BNS.

Klaipedos Smelte CEO Rimantas Juska says the company invested almost 65 million euros in 2018 to 2020, including 23.2 million euros in upgrading the terminal's infrastructure and 38.5 million euros in new cargo handling equipment. 


Klaipedos Smelte is preparing for the possible return of MSC's large ocean-going container vessels. The global shipping company included Klaipeda in their routes in 2018, but temporarily suspended the decision in 2019, according to Juska.


"Basically, we've been working on investments for two years," he said. "MSC isn’t saying we’ll come when you’re finished. What we've been told is, 'when you're finished, tell us what capacity you'll have'." 


Once completed, the investment projects will increase the company's cargo handling capacity from 500,000-550,000 to almost a million TEUs, Juska said.  


Attracting large ships from Australia, Malaysia or China to Klaipeda would require rearranging logistics chains, which is a major challenge, he added. 


 Algis Latakas, the Klaipeda port's CEO, met with MSC's top executives last week. 


The port said in a press release after the meeting that the shipping giant had "serious" plans for Klaipeda.  


The Lithuanian port handled 479,000 TEUs in the three quarters of 2020, down by 11.5 percent year-on-year. All major ports on the eastern Baltic coast saw a decline in TEU traffic in the period.

Terminal Investment, an international port terminal operator that is part of MSC, operates 65 container terminals worldwide, including Klaipedos Smelte.  






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